September 11th, 1985
Then next day Det. Shirley was on a rampage. She very much wanted to get her hands on Jimmy Cortez—not to mention finding Peaches and making sure that she’s okay. When she checked in with the Desk Sergeant to see any progress on finding Cortez, she was informed that there’s been no sign of him all night. There’s been so sign of Peaches, either.
After Det. Shirley settles in at her desk, she is approached by Det. Bobby Rudler. He is the Squad Computer “geek.” He runs the Precinct’s only computer, sporting an IBM 5150 PC. He maintains records for the Precinct and has been on a slow project of copying paper files to computer, a task he’s been since 1983, when the computer was purchased.
“Detective, I have something for you,” he says to Shirley.
“What is it?” This early in the morning, her Virginia drawl is more pronounced than usual.
“It has to do with the Danvers abduction. Word’s been going around about the weird video you have. Well, I came across another case that has some similarities to yours.”
“What do you got?” she asked, suddenly interested. The murder of Angela, Shirley realized, had affected her more than she realized. Between that and the Sullivan Murder, she had completely forgotten about the disappearance of Jennifer Danvers.
“All I got is a Follow-Up.” he hands Det. Shirley the paperwork. “1983 attack at NYU, one Justine Darmity. Can’t find she was ever found. They had some CC footage the perps tried to knock out, but was still running. I got it all edited on one tape.” And he then hands her a worn VHS cassette tape.
Intrigued, Shirley goes over the paperwork. The topic read “REVIEW OF VIDEO FROM WEST 13TH AND 4TH.” She finds herself particularly drawn to what is typed in the section Summary of Investigation. “Poor quality of the video limits its usefulness as evidence. Per corroborating statements victim was working late in classroom. Upon exiting the room, vic looks as if splashed by something, perhaps to render her helpless. CSU reports no traces of incapacitating substances in hallway or in classroom. She flees back into the room. No one enters, so possible multiple perps involved. Video shows perps trying to disable camera. Last few frames appears victim is being strangled, but no weapon or hands are in view. This video deemed inconclusive.”
Det. Shirley has to get a look at this tape and quickly heads into the Break Room. A large Zenith TV is perches precariously atop a metal TV stand on casters. On the second shelf is a Magnavox Top Loader Video Cassette Recorder/Player, into which she pops the tape. The video quality is, indeed poor, but shows a strange attack of some sort. But the only person ever visible is the victim! Det. Shirley watches the video over and over, trying to soak in the strange scene. It is not quite as blatantly weird as the video from the Danvers abduction, but still strange, nonetheless. For one thing there is a shadow movement she cannot account for. Also there is nothing explaining the jerky movements at the end that do look like she is being strangled by unseen hands.
When Det. Sgt. O’Hinn gets in, she quickly grabs him to have a look. He goes, but only after checking in with Lt. Epstein. He’s okay and back at his desk. Apparently he needs to remember that Tai food just doesn’t agree with him.
After viewing the tape with Shirley, O’Hinn says, “What it is with you and weird tapes, Cornpone?”
Shirley can’t let this go just yet. She spends some time tracking down the Reporting Officer, Dennis Sheehan. In the meantime O’Hinn is with Lt. Epstein going over the previous day’s reports. But Shirley’s investigation is cut short when the Sullivan family arrives: Mr. and Mrs. David and Pam Sullivan. Lisa conducts them to Interview Room 2. Since O’Hinn is still busy, Shirley will have to conduct the interview.
She learns that Andrew Sullivan has family in New York: His uncle, Thomas McManus, who is part owner of the Peter McManus Café in Chelsea. She explains, “He’s my uncle, actually. My maiden name is McManus. It’s just that Andrew has always called him ‘Uncle.’” Shirley also learns that Andrew Sullivan was working with the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). He was always involved with community service. Det. Shirley had quite a time trying to console the devastated Mrs. Sullivan, but finally the agonizing interview ended. Dealing with grieving family is always the hardest part of The Job.
Det. Shirley finishes up with the Sullivans about the same time O’Hinn finishes with Lt. Epstein. As if on cue, who walks in but the ne’er do well, Reggie Slocum.
“What’s up, my brother,” he says to O’Hinn as he slides into the Squad Room. “I understand New York’s finest has an issue regarding one Jimmy Vasquez and his erstwhile ex-girlfriend, one Angela Peña. I am your knight in shining armor.”
“Whatcha got for me, Reggie?”
“Well,” says Reggie, “I of course want to do my civic duty, but, uh . . . I was wondering if there might be some sort of monetary remuneration available.”
“You just tell me what you got,” O’Hinn assures him. “If your information’s good, you know I’ll take care of you.”
Reggie grins and says, “Well alright, then. Let us do business!”
As usual with Reggie, the interview was a long and winding road. But the detectives finally cut through the nonsense. Reggie claims to have been there when Angela was murdered. He was “conducting some business” in a car parked across the street. He insists that it all went down before he could do anything. He names for sure that the killer was, in fact, Jimmy Cortez. However, it doesn’t take much for the detectives to come up with the true story.
“You didn’t see squat, didja, Reggie?” says O’Hinn. “Peaches came to you, didn’t she? She came to you and asked you to come in here and tell the story so that Jimmy doesn’t get away with killing her friend. Isn‘t that it?”
Reggie’s smarmy smile doesn’t gain his smarmy more points with the detectives at this point. And since her nerves are so raw over the matter to begin with, he even gains less with Det. Shirley. After pressing him, Reggie finally admits that Preaches came to him and told him to go to the cops for her. It seems that she is terrified of Jimmy and is in hiding right now. For the promise of some money, Reggie offers to get Peaches into the Precinct to make a statement.
Finally the detectives have the chance to get back to the Sullivan Murder and O’Hinn and Shirley head out to the NYPIRG office at 9 Murray Street. There they meet a girl named Suzy Landsman, which disappointed O’Hinn, somewhat. Deep down he was expecting someone names “Rainbow” or something equally nauseating from these “hippie types.” But she was wearing a tie-dyed tee shirt and had a couple of beaded strands of hair, which met his expectations.
“We deal with students interested in public service issues,” said Suzy, sullen from the news of Andrew’s murder. “Andy was a very proactive volunteer. We’re really gonna miss him.” Then an unpleasant thought occurs to her. “You don’t think this has something to do with his work here, do you?”
“We just don’t know, yet,” says Det. Shirley.
“So what was his work here,” asked O’Hinn. He was trying very hard to hide his disdain for anything that reminded the former Vietnam Veteran of the 60s.
“He was very interested in animal rights.”
“I noticed he had a bunch of books on the meat industry in his dorm room,” says Shirley. “What can you tell us about that?”
“He was investigating some e. coli deaths at some the fast food chain O’Tooleys. Several children had died eating contaminated food.”
“What, they let too many flies get to it after they killed the cows?”
“It was more how they killed and gutted the cows. Andy was doing research.”
She had been talking to the detectives while she led them through the maze of cubicles until they finally arrived at a desk. “Here’s where Andy did some of his work.” She rifles through some of the paperwork. “Not much here, except this expense report he never got to turn in. Looks like he bought some film. Some place called Valiant Prints. Hope that helps.”
“We’ll let you know if we need anything,” says O’Hinn in dismissal. “We’ll show ourselves out.”
Det. Shirley gives Suzy a card, “Give us a call of you can remember anything else. Thanks, you’ve been a big help.”
The detectives look over Andrew’s area, but find nothing of any use. So they decide to head out and find Valiant Prints.
At Valiant Prints the detectives talk to a man names George Hung. He tells them that Andrew brings in film all the time, but he hasn’t been there in a couple of days, which is unusual since he usually picks them up right away. The detectives take the prints and look them over. It’s enough to make anyone want to eat tofu. Depicted are images from a slaughterhouse. Savagely gutted animals, spilled entrails, close-ups of pierced stomachs and intestines, fecal matter infecting the meat, it’s all very disgusting. Included are pictures of some of the employees of the slaughterhouse, but several of one: An older man with graying hair.
The detectives head back to the precinct for the day. But when they return they are delighted to see that Reggie has come through for them. Waiting in the Break Room is none other than Peaches, herself. O’Hinn pays Reggie for a job well done as Shirley heads in to talk with Peaches.
“It is a pleasure doing business with you, detective,” says Reggie as he counts his money. “And I will see what I can do about finding one Jimmy Cortez for you, too.”
“You do that, Reggie, there’s more in it for you,” says O’Hinn.
“Word! That’s what I like to hear, my brother!” And with that, Reggie heads out.
After her shift on Day Tour is over, Felicity goes to her favorite hang-out in the East Village, the occult bookshop called Visions & Dreams. The whole cast of crazies always helps her relax: Donna Salem, the owner with such the perfect name it has to have been changed; Deborah, her younger and sexy-as-hell life-partner; Bethany, their beautiful fourteen year old daughter; and, of course, Nikolai, the lugubrious, tall and thin, strange stock boy who tends the shelves as if they were his private collection. The whole affair with Angela, ant the fact that they can’t find Jimmy Cortez, has gotten to her. She needs to decompress.
While there Felicity basks in the personal charm of the strange little family there. The current drama is in Bethany having started high school. It is no surprise that she is catching some flak from the other students. After all, this is the ‘80’s, and Bethany likes to wear tie-dye tee shirts, sashes, beads in her hair, and dashikis. At least she doesn’t wear bell-bottoms, but she does like to draw on her pants. In fact, she draws everywhere: On her pants, her book covers, in her books, even on her own arms. She gets away with much of it mostly because she is such a beautiful girl, and charismatic, and pretty girls can get away with a lot; but still, Bethany is kind of out there!
“This girl really pissed me off today,” says Bethany. “She and her friends. Bunch of punker kids, all dressed in black and chains. Think they’re soooooo cool!”
“Who is this girl,” asks Felicity.
“Some girl,” Bethany says dismissively. “Think her name’s Ronnie or something like that. Thinks she’s such hot shit!”
“Hey, mouth, kiddo!” admonishes Donna.
“Well, she does. They’re just bullies, that’s all.”
Later, when Felicity is on her way back to her apartment, she notices something. The graffiti on a wall . . . Graffiti is so common in New York City that most people get used to tuning it out, but something draws Felicity’s eyes to one particular tag. It says “Ravenz” in the stylized, confusing lettering favored in this sort of street art. She has seen the tag before from her time with the 9th Precinct.
The Ravens are a gang in Alphabet City and have been around for years, but the police have managed to get nothing on them. Not a single member has ever been arrested, and the Gang Taskforce can’t get anything either. The other gangs won’t talk about them. Everyone’s afraid of The Ravens!
And then the thought hits Felicity like a freight-train! Images flash in her mind from her most recent night terror! The flock of ravens gathered around Jennifer Danvers, maybe it’s a reference to The Ravens! The thought chills Felicity’s blood, and haunts her the rest of the evening and into her sleep.
Thus ends the day.